Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: Bombs

By Tim Stone on February 21st, 2014.

“Another helping of Enigma machine gibberish from Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s resident sim gimp.” The Coventry Herald

“As usual, Stone switches subjects with the gracefulness of a derailing freight train.” The Aldershot Bugle

“The last time I saw that many commas that close together, I was visiting the National Museum of Printing.” Caravanning Today

“After reading this week’s pieces on IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad and BOMB, the fatwā calls suddenly made a lot more sense.” Contemporary Crochetist Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Golden Ladder, Silver Rope

By Tim Stone on February 14th, 2014.

“Lance corporal Ivor Pettibone was the most gifted ‘skylark’ I’ve ever met. Given a quiet place to sit (inside or out, it made no difference) and a few minutes to himself, he could tell you, with photographic clarity, what lurked in the next village or lay beyond the next ridge. It was like having an invisible Auster on call all day every day. One damp evening in the Spring of ’45 he tried to teach me the trick. In a fragrant hayloft near Münster I learnt all about The Golden Ladder and The Silver Rope. At first neither seemed strong enough to bear my weight, but later, long after the war was over, I did manage a couple of brief but unforgettable ascents.”

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The Flare Path: Always Bagrational

By Tim Stone on February 7th, 2014.

If you ever find yourself in Hell, do check out the Empirical War Museum. Their tank collection makes Bovington’s look paltry, their 1:1 scale ‘Little Pearl Harbour’ diorama will literally take your breath away, and their seemingly empty Landmine Gallery is pure genius. Last time I visited I bumped into a couple of Battlefront.com researchers outside the Hall of Flamethrowers. The pair claimed they weren’t there on business, but their camera bags, tape measures, and smouldering eyebrows told a different story. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Orientally Oriented

By Tim Stone on January 31st, 2014.

When a Flare Path Friday falls on Chinese New Year, it’s traditional for all the stories to be Sino centred. Back in 1997 that meant coverage of Taiwan invasion TBS 以臺海兩岸緊張, thoughts on Ding Ding, a work-in-progress Hong Kong tramway sim, and an interview with Implicit Sextant, the team behind heavenly 14th Century fireworks sandbox, The Fire Drake of Fuzhou. Today it means Silent Service II patrols in the South China Sea, and a swift inspection of Just Trains’ new SS7C CR electric loco. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Longbowsprits

By Tim Stone on January 24th, 2014.

Anything interesting happened in Gameshire during the past seven days? I confess I’ve been so busy lusting after Naval Action, contemplating Combat-Helo’s changing fortunes, and toiling away on 50 Mission Candy Crush (My Operation Little Vittles wargame. Think 50 Mission Crush but with lollipops and gum instead of GP bombs and incendiaries) that I haven’t had time to follow this week’s news. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Shoots And Scoots

By Tim Stone on January 17th, 2014.

There was a young Panzer called Peter,
Who fancied himself a great defeater;
But because of his haste, and his tendency to waste Panzergranate 40 Armour Piercing Composite Rigid ammunition,
He was often disgraced in the War Thunder: Ground Forces beta.

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The Flare Path: Heads For The Hills

By Tim Stone on January 10th, 2014.

The FP works outings are legendary. Every year on the first bank holiday in Spring I pull up outside the office in a hired Abarth 500. Hilde and Hereward, the Reading Room librarians, squeeze into the back seat, closely followed by Roman (Senior Foxer Setter) Kate (Senior Foxer Setter’s Assistant) and Uncle George (Not Totally Certain What Uncle George Does). The hampers, rugs, and deck chairs are then carefully inserted, after which Michaela (Human Resources) Sean (Graphic Design), Oxo (Motion Capture), Lofty (Puns), Simeon (Guns) and Chelsea (Buns) usually threaten to resign unless I return the Abarth immediately and rent a more sensible vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wot I Think: OMSI 2

By Tim Stone on January 3rd, 2014.

Both the OMSI and the OMSI 2 manual begin with the same Goethe quote. In 2011 “Such a work is never actually finished – one must simply declare it to be finished once one has done as much as possible given the time and circumstances.” felt like a dangled promise… a hint of riches yet to come. In 2014, in the light of the NG272-length bug list currently dominating my play notes, it feels like a whispered apology… acknowledgement that the follow-up to one of the finest driving games of recent years was bustled out of the door before it was good and ready. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Sherry Is My Avgas

By Tim Stone on December 27th, 2013.

True Christmas contentment impossible while stray sim and wargame news stories still at large STOP Briefly leaving family/fireside to recommend Flashpoint Campaigns Red Storm and Global Air Traffic Control demos and share Combat Mission and SevenG vids STOP Intend to name and shame years worst sim too STOP Seriously if you are thinking about buying Airport Simulator 2014 in the Steam sale STOP this instant STOP in the name of love STOP Read the rest of this entry »

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Wot I Think: Wings Over Flanders Fields

By Tim Stone on December 20th, 2013.

Ever since reading about Ernst Udet’s brush with Georges Guynemer high above the Marne (the French ace waved then flew off after seeing his opponent struggling with hopelessly jammed MGs) I’ve attempted to behave chivalrously whenever possible while WWI flight simming. Wings Over Flanders Fields, the latest Combat Flight Simulator 3 metamorphoser from Great War scholars Old Brown Dog Software, has allowed me to take sportsmanship to undreamt-of levels. In WOFF not only do I frequently allow talented/spirited adversaries to escape, I often let them – if they’re so inclined – riddle my frail flying machine and frailer body with hot Pb.

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The Flare Path: Ducks The Issue

By Tim Stone on December 13th, 2013.

Simulatia shook like a flak-jostled Ju 88 on Wednesday afternoon when two long-longed-for sequels turned up within hours of each other. A better organised, less sleep-partial sim correspondent would have dashed-off pithy preliminary assessments of OMSI 2 and Wings Over Flanders Fields in time for his Friday column. Me, I’m still too busy pinching myself, rubbing the Fairey dust from my eyes, and deciding how I feel about two earlier arrivals. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Under Pressure

By Tim Stone on December 6th, 2013.

Knickers. I’ve just drawn Reader #3232 in the RPS Secret Santa draw. This year I’m buying for a chap who scribbles scores on his two-year-old son’s art, described Papers, Please as “adequate”, and last smiled in 1998*. Perhaps something in his reader file will trigger a gift idea.

Hmm. It appears he “tolerates wasps” and has a “grudging respect for the work of 19th Century sewer engineer Joseph Bazalgette”. That’s something, I suppose. Hang on – what’s this? “During a visit to the Somerset Shoe Museum in 2010, #3232 was overheard discussing Boyle’s Law and representations of Romanians in contemporary videogames”. Now that is interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Must Tri Harder

By Tim Stone on November 29th, 2013.

When a Flare Path Friday falls on November 29, the 333rd day of the year, it’s traditional for all the stories to have a topical tripartite slant. Back in 2002 that meant detailed scrutiny of a just released Fokker Dr.I add-on for MSFS, coverage of Bronze Tide, a WIP Battle of Arginusae wargame, and an interview with Trilobyte Interactive, the makers of Lucy Lyme, a Spelunky precursor inspired by the activities of Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning. Today it means words on Prepar3D, N3V’s plans, and IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad’s early access LaGG-3. Read the rest of this entry »

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